Sunday, July 31, 2011
The summer holidays being here, consider Zeno taking his family on a trip. One of his kids asks ‘Are we nearly there?’ Suppose the answer is ‘No’, as it will be for most of their journey. Typically, the question is repeated a short time later. Since they will not have moved very far in that short time, how could they be nearly there? A bit further on from any place that was not nearly there would still not be nearly there. The Sorites paradox is that it follows logically that they will never be nearly there. But as Zeno knows, children are impossible.
A plume flies up collapsing
back to flatness, a ponderous pause
and up springs a duckling, fluffy
but with butt bedraggled.
She sips duck-poo soup
and snatches flies
from the bottom of the sky,
splurging with her siblings
like golden spiderlings,
as busy as bees in the water-lillies.
Emerging from their submergings,
broadsides besides a lardy mallard
evoking long-ships, with his draconian head,
as he waddles by on lobstrous feet...
Flustered, he flaps his wings
and peacock-blue rhombuses blink
and fling off oddly fluttering splodges
of soggy leaf-litter... Weary of malarkey
he fans out his butt like a pack of cards
and onto a flagstone flops.
Wary of malady
he gingerly stretches out his white-collared neck
for sumptuous croutons,
a little presumptuously. Unhinging
winds fringe maroon-fingered moon
like a waiter with a supernatural soupspoon;
a crater of rubble like a burst bubble
serving as a seat of tranquillity
for a duck quacking up a soporific
melody of sounds pacific:
......Talk about a duck
......floating on a lake
......looking like a wooden decoy does.
......Talk about a drake
......ducking wooden ducks